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Kerlink and Libatel deploy LoRa at Lebanon vineyard

Steve Rogerson
December 7, 2017

Kerlink and Libatel have partnered to deploy a LoRaWan to monitor growing conditions at one of Lebanon’s most famous vineyards. The pilot project is generating data and information about Domaine Chateau Kefra’s topography, soil conditions, climate and sunlight, which give wine grapes their distinctive character.
The chateau will use the information to optimise wine-parcel classification over its 300 hectares of vineyards. The customised network is a proof-of-concept project involving Saudi Arabia-based Libatel and Ogero Telecom, Lebanon’s largest telecoms operator, and will be part of Libatel’s bid to support Ogero’s deployment of a nationwide IoT network in Lebanon.
The pilot project at Domaine Chateau Kefraya, which began this summer, is generating data and information about the vineyard’s terroir, which includes topography, soil conditions, climate and sunlight that give wine grapes their distinctive character. At the project’s conclusion last month, the chateau will use the information to optimise wine-parcel classification over its 300 hectares of vineyards.
By monitoring data coming from the vineyards, and permanently controlling the climate conditions, the maturity of the different types of grapes and other specific parameters, the chateau can allocate in anticipation the different parcels to the different productions, and especially selects the best grapes for high-end and renamed wine.
The customised LoRaWan deployment includes French company Kerlink’s Wirnet Station technology. Libatel, which is managing network operation and maintenance, data collection and software development, provided a dashboard tailored to the specific needs of Chateau Kefraya. The collected data are accessible from a computer or smartphone on a platform designed by the company.
“Kerlink’s low-power, wide-area network can be customised for virtually any project, from nationwide deployments to small local networks and indoor applications,” said Stephane Dejean, chief marketing officer for Kerlink. “Working with Libatel on this proof-of-concept in Lebanon’s first smart-agriculture IoT deployment provides a concrete case study that illustrates the flexibility of our solutions, their simple rollout and the critical information they help collect and deliver.”
Agriculture is Lebanon’s third-largest economic sector and includes a wide variety of terrain and climatic conditions.
“Lebanon is ripe for implementing smart-agriculture applications that provide our producers real-time information to better manage crop maintenance, water consumption and fertiliser and pesticide applications,” said André Chkeibane, country manager for Libatel Lebanon. “This improved efficiency supports sustainable-agriculture, while maximising yields for producers, and this project with Chateau Kefraya will demonstrate specifically how the IoT can benefit Lebanese vineyards.”
LoRaWan technology enables device native geolocation using the radio network and geolocation-ready gateways, like other references available in Kerlink’s portfolio. End users receive support from the LoRa Alliance, a 500-member-plus ecosystem of companies and organisations that share their experiences operating the network and that provide the different building blocks of successful end-to-end IoT.
Kerlink, a co-founder and board member of the LoRa Alliance, specialises in network products for the IoT. Its mission is to provide telecoms operators, businesses and public authorities with equipment, software and services to design, launch and operate IoT networks.
Over the past three years, Kerlink has invested more than €8m in R&D. In just over ten years, more than 70,000 Kerlink installations have been rolled out for more than 260 customers, including major telecoms operators such Tata Communications, and utilities such as GrDF and Suez. The company’s products are enabling IoT networks worldwide with major deployments in Europe, south Asia, South America and New Zealand.
In 2016, Kerlink generated revenues of €14.1m, 25 per cent internationally. Since 2013, it has posted average annual growth above 50 per cent.
Libatel Group, established in 1977, is a provider of information and communications technology in the Middle East and the Gulf.